Motivating Staff the Triple ‘A’ Way

Motivating staff can be a bit of a mystery.

Managers are often confused about what actually does motivate employees and even employees themselves might find this hard to pinpoint. This leads to an assumption among some that money is a motivational factor. However, research over the past several decades has fairly conclusively shown that this is not the case. Rather, employees are more likely to be motivated by intrinsic factors such as feeling appreciated, and advancement in their careers. With this in mind, the “AAA Motivation Battery” is a good model to use that can help with keeping staff motivated without breaking the bank!

The AAA Motivation Battery focuses on three primary areas, based on accessing intrinsic motivating factors within people. This is a triple A technique to energize teams, just as a battery provides energy. These triple A factors are:

  • A= Acknowledge
  • A= Appreciate
  • A= Advance
Here’s another “AAA” model managers can use: “The AAA Approach To Getting the Best Work Out of People

Managers focus on these factors all too infrequently. If you ask managers if they acknowledge and appreciate their staff they will say, “Yes”, but actions speak louder, and many managers fail to follow-through.

It is not difficult to acknowledge that a person has done a good job and to show them appreciation. It does not have to cost anything to operate by the AAA Battery model. Yet this model creates a feeling of purpose and belonging for employees. This is increasingly important since a winning competitive edge is created through effective talent management and developing a worthwhile employee value proposition.

Managers need to step back and ensure that they are using the AAA motivation battery model, so they give the organization the greatest possible chance of competitive advantage through people. Each ‘A’ is explained in greater detail below:

Acknowledge – This is an area that managers overlook. Employees need meaning in their lives, and a reason to come to work every day. They need to know their purpose. If an employee understands how their contribution impacts others and organizational success, then they are more likely to feel that they have this meaning. Managers have a responsibility to acknowledge what employees do and to show them who it impacts within the organization and how. This helps employees build an emotional attachment to their work, leading to improvements in performance. Managers that acknowledge individual employee contribution and team participation will naturally be more effective at motivating staff. This ultimately drives productivity and performance of the individual.

Appreciation – Showing appreciation for employees costs nothing. It takes almost no time and no money at all to say thank you for a job well done. When managers do this, they are expressing the value of the employee’s efforts for the company and its stakeholders. If monetary rewards are available to offer as a token of appreciation, then that is excellent. If not, types of non-monetary reward could be offered, such as giving a person an extra day off.

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Advance – Most people want to feel as though they are advancing and achieving something in their careers. Managers can help people progress in their careers by offering development opportunities. While the first thought might be, “That is too expensive!” with external courses in mind, development options can be created within the firm. These include providing on-the-job training, offering opportunities that allow development, such as stretch tasks, and providing access to internal courses.

Developing employees in this way helps them to feel that they are getting something back for their efforts, as well as increasing their skills and competencies. Overall this increases motivation, engagement, and organizational commitment. These employees are also more likely to be productive as they are better skilled to do their jobs.

As can be seen, there are many benefits of the AAA Motivation Battery model to the organization.

In summary, these include motivation and engagement of staff and more energized employees. Employees that are more engaged and energized are proven to be more productive, to provide better quality in their work, and to offer improved customer service. All of this leads to better results and increased profitability for the firm. It also makes the organization a better place to be with an improved corporate culture. Meanwhile there are fewer conflicts and resentments among staff, and better employee retention.

The AAA Motivation Battery pack is a very simple, yet extremely effective approach for managers to take in motivating employees and delivering organizational success.

Ali Khaled Alhashmi is a winner of several notable awards such as Human Resources Executive of the Year at the International Business Awards 2017, HR Leadership Award at the GCC Best Employer Brand Awards 2017, HR Professional of the Year at HR Excellence Award 2017 and 100 most influential Global HR Leaders at the World HRD Congress 2018.

Alhashmi is a seasoned human resources specialist with more than 20 years of leadership and professional development experience and has held Senior Vice President roles in Human Resources at Union National Bank and Al Hilal Bank, both in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

He brings a rare ability to apply an entrepreneurial approach to organizational challenges, delivering transformational and sustainable change to large and small businesses alike. He is well known as a catalyst for transformational change, spearheading the use of innovative HR management techniques combined with digitalization to deliver lasting results, particularly with employee engagement. A public speaker and published author, written several ground-breaking leadership and management titles, including “Success Through Employees – Employee Engagement Strategies”, “TEEM – A Model for Growth in Business and Government”, “The Winning Edge”, and "Understanding the Workplace" series. Also published numerous white papers and management articles in the areas of expert authority including Human Resources, Strategic Planning, Leadership and Market Research.

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